November 21, 2011

SF&F Literati End Their Reading Year, and other News

News and Notes from SF Fandom

SF&F Literati Discuss Robert Asprin's Dragons Wild
November's featured book is Robert
Asprin's Dragons Wild.
SF&F Literati meet every fourth Monday of the month at the Barnes & Nobles Booksellers at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park.

Overview from the Barnes & Nobles website:
     "First in a brand new series from the New York Times bestselling creator of the Myth and Phule novels:
     "A low-stakes con artist and killer poker player, Griffen "Grifter" McCandles graduated college fully expecting his wealthy family to have a job waiting for him. Instead, his mysterious uncle reveals a strange family secret: Griffen and his sister, Valerie, are actually dragons.
     "Unwilling to let Uncle Mal take him under his wing, so to speak, Griffen heads to New Orleans with Valerie to make a living the only way he knows how. And even the criminal underworld of the French Quarter will heat up when Griffen lands in town."

There will be no meeting in December, because the fourth Monday falls on December 26, and complications seem inevitable. This should give everyone plenty of time to read the selection for January 23, 2012. It is The Unincorporated Man, by Dani and Eytan Kollin.

New AboutSF Volunteer Coordinator
KaCSFFS Member Ben Cartwright announced a while back that there is a new Volunteer Coordinator for the KU-based educational outreach project, AboutSFHe wrote:
     "I hope that everyone in KaCSFFS will join me in welcoming Isaac Bell as the new volunteer coordinator for AboutSF! Isaac is a first-year Master’s student in the Composition and Rhetoric track in the department of English at the University of Kansas. He is an alumnus of both the 2011 Science Fiction Writers Workshop and the Intensive English Institute on the Teaching of Science Fiction provided by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction.
     "Isaac has worked as a Digital Executive Producer at KMBC Channel 9, and as a Senior Web Producer at the Lawrence Journal-World. Isaac’s creative work includes stories in both volumes of the Crimson Pact anthology.
     "I feel that Isaac’s skills and experience make him a perfect fit for the AboutSF coordinator position.
     "I want to personally thank all of the individuals and organizations (including KaCSFFS folks) I’ve had the opportunity to work with while being the AboutSF coordinator. I will continue to help produce the AboutSF podcasts as a volunteer, and I look forward to all of Isaac’s exciting plans for AboutSF.

New Books Announced
The blog has received a couple of new-book announcements recently, from friends of KaCSFFS.

My Troubles with Time
Benson Grayson has a new e-book, My Troubles with Time. It is available for $1.99 in the e-version for Kindle from Amazon. Here is his description:
     "The story concerns a friendless physics professor who goes back to December 1941 in a time machine he has invented, seeking to become famous by destroying the Japanese fleet which attacked Pearl Harbor. Against all odds he succeeds. Rather than being hailed as a hero, he is arrested and sentenced to death by a U.S. Navy Court Martial for mistakenly sinking the Japanese vessels prior to their launching their attack.”

The author has previously published seven books on history and international affairs, but this is his first fiction project.

The Worker Prince
Bryan Thomas Schmidt's new book, The Worker Prince, is the first book in a trilogy. It is available from his website in paperback, for $14.95, or as an e-book for $3.99. Here is his description:
     "What if everything you thought you knew about  yourself  and the world turned out to be wrong?
      "For Davi Rhii, Prince of the Boralian people, that  nightmare has become a reality. Freshly  graduated from  the prestigious Borali Military Academy, now he’s discovered he was secretly adopted and born a worker. Ancient enemies of  the Boralians, enslaved now for generations, the workers of Vertullis live lives harder than Davi had ever imagined.
     "To make matters worse, Davi’s  discovered that the High Lord Councillor of the  Alliance, his uncle Xalivar, is responsible for years of abuse and suppression against the workers Davi now knows as his own people.
     "His quest to rediscover himself brings him into conflict with Xalivar and his friends and family, calling into question his cultural values and assumptions, and putting in jeopardy all he’s worked for his whole life. Davi’s never felt more confused and alone. Will he stand and watch the workers face continued mistreatment, or turn his back on his loved ones and fight for what’s right? Whatever he decides is sure to change his life forever."

If either of these titles intrigues you, please follow the links and check them out!

Many thanks (again) to Barnes & Noble Booksellers for the cover illustration of Dragons Wild. The cover for My Troubles with Time is courtesy of Benson Grayson. The cover for The Worker Prince is from Bryan Thomas Schmidt's website.

November 13, 2011

More than Plenty's in Store at KaCSFFS Thanksgiving Meeting!

November 19 Meeting is Packed with Special Features

Come to The Writers Place for the November meeting with a Food Pantry donation; cash or your checkbook, in case you see artwork you can't resist; and a side dish or dessert to share for the potluck Thanksgiving dinner!

Bring non-perishable food items for
the KaCSFFS Food Drive!
Food Pantry Donations
Before you feed yourself, give some thought to feeding others! KaCSFFS continues its three-month food drive. Any non-perishable food item is appreciated! Some popular and healthy suggestions include canned fruit, vegetables, soup, meat (such as tuna or ham), etc., or peanut butter, beans, rice, pasta, and baby food. Disposable diapers and wipes, as well as toiletry items also are usually welcome!

Thanksgiving Visual Feast
Talented local and regional artists who work in the science fiction, fantasy, horror, and/or Steampunk genres will display their work for your viewing pleasure and purchase--just in time for the holidays! This display will be set up on the Mezzanine and second floor. It will be available for viewing all evening. Don't miss it!
This is some of the artwork displayed for last August's "Art Night." See what
our talented artist friends have in store for Thanksgiving!

Earline Beebe and Jan Gephardt enjoyed a good visit
at the 2010 KaCSFFS Thanksgiving Dinner. 
Thanksgiving Dinner
After a short meeting starting at 6:00, it will be time to eat. Enjoy the talents of the best cooks in KaCSFFS, and relax for a pleasant conversation at the table. 

If you plan to bring a side dish or dessert to complement the KaCSFFS-furnished turkey and gravy, please contact Diana Bailey so she can coordinate. Bring your own drinks, if you have something particular in mind. 

KaCSFFS provides plastic tableware and disposable cups, as well as the turkey and gravy.

John Tibbetts will read from
his new book after dinner.
After-Dinner Reading by John Tibbetts
A special treat awaits us after dinner, when the noted local film critic, writer, interviewer, and KU professor of film, John Tibbetts, presents a reading from his new book, The Gothic Imagination: Conversations on Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction in the Media. 

This book was only published last month. It includes an interview with KaCSFFS friend and Honorary Member Wilson Tucker.

Tibbetts is a charming and entertaining speaker. We think you will enjoy his presentation!

PHOTO CREDITS: The food pantry illustration is courtesy of the First Baptist Church of Medford, WI. The photo of the "August Art Night" display is by Neelix (Tracy Majkol), and is used with his permission. The photo from the November 20, 2010 Thanksgiving Dinner is by Ty Gephardt, and is used with his permission. The cover illustration for The Gothic Imagination was provided by Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Many thanks to all of them!

November 07, 2011

Attention Artists! Call for Entries!

Thanksgiving Visual Feast is November 19

Here’s an opportunity to display your artwork and offer it for sale at the usually well attended KaCSFFS Thanksgiving Dinner and Meeting—just in time for the holidays!

     * Hosted by KaCSFFS (the parent organization for ConQuesT).
     * A one-evening art display and sale in conjunction with the Thanksgiving Dinner Meeting, and a reading by John Tibbetts.
     * Show date: Saturday, November 19:
          * Setup starts 5:15 p.m.
          * Show runs 6:30-8:30.
          * Teardown must wrap up by 9.

The Visual Feast will be run like the highly successful August Art Night.
Shown here are partial displays by Allison Stein, Jan Gephardt, Lucy A. Synk,
and Rachael Mayo. Jim Murray observes at right. Photo by Neelix.
Also participating in the show were jewelers Bev Hale and Signy Gephardt.
     * This show is open to local and regional artists who work in the science fiction, fantasy, horror, and Steampunk genres.
     * Space preference goes to those who can attend or send an agent.
     * Reservations must be received by November 16. Space is limited, so sign up early! Contact Jan Gephardt to reserve space.
     * There is NO charge for displaying artwork at this event.
     * There is NO commission on sales.
     * Buyers will pay artists directly, via cash or check only, unless an artist can take credit cards on his/her own.
     * Vertical displays will use the 2-ft.-wide-by-6-ft.-tall wire grid panels used at ConQuesT (see the photo above).
     * The Writers Place has tables similar to the 3-ft.-by-6-ft. tables used at ConQuesT for horizontal space, but they mostly will be used for eating—so we may have to use alternate arrangements. If you have your own tables, bring them!
     * You or your agent will set up your display. Prices should be visible. We have created “Visual Feast” piece ID tags and Control Sheets, if you wish to use them. Contact Jan Gephardt for them.

The Nov. 19 event will be at
The WritersPlace
in Kansas City, MO.
     * The event will be held at The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.
     * Do NOT ship artwork to The Writers Place!! If you need a shipping address, contact Jan Gephardt.

We hope to see you and your artwork there!
     Jan Sherrell Gephardt
     Visual Feast Art Show Director

PHOTO CREDITS: The photo from August Art Night is used by permission from photographer Neelix (AKA Tracy Majkol).  The photo of The Writers Place is from their website.

November 03, 2011

Plan NOW for the Game of Thrones Marathon

View the entire First Season!

See all 10 episodes of HBO's Emmy-winning fantasy series Game of Thrones for FREE on a 51" Plasma HDTV in 1080p and in 5.1 Surround Sound, 6 months before they'll be available on Blu-ray and DVD (mid-March 2012)!

You have two chances this weekend!

The first complete viewing is set for Saturday, November 5th. The entire season will be repeated the next day, Sunday, November 6th (see schedule further below).

Videos to get you in the mood:
View the terrific Emmy Award-winning title sequence that won for "Best Main Title Design" at this year's ceremony (Actor Peter Dinklage also wonfor "Best Suppporting Actor in a Drama Series").

Enjoy a stirring (non-spoiler) preview of HBO's Season One.

Enjoy an optimal viewing experience!
We have ample seating in a Home Theatre environment.  View the entire season on a 51" Plasma HDTV in 1080p and in 5.1 Surround SoundOff-street parking will be available for both complete screenings.

Please drop Ken Keller an e-mail note and let me know if you'll be attending.

Please call David Sooby at 913-721-2106 for specific directions.

Game of Thrones Marathon show times:
Saturday, November 5:
Noon - 2:00 pm, Episodes 1 & 2
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm (Late Lunch Break)
2:45 pm - 4:45 pm, Episodes 3 & 4
4:45 pm - 5:00 pm (Intermission)
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Episodes 5 & 6
7:00 pm - 7:45 pm (Dinner Break)
7:45 pm - 9:45 pm, Episodes 7 & 8
9:45 pm - 10:00 pm (Intermission)
10:00 pm - Midnight, Episodes 9 & 10

Sunday, November 6:
10:00 am - 1:00 pm, Episodes 1, 2, & 3
1::00 pm - 1:45 pm (Lunch Break)
1:45 pm - 3:45 pm, Episodes 4 & 5
3:45 pm - 4:00 pm (Intermission)
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Episodes 6 & 7
6:00 pm - 6:45 pm (Dinner Break)
6:45 pm - 9:45 pm, Episodes 8, 9, & 10

Suggestions to Enhance Your Viewing Enjoyment of the HBO series:
Game of Thrones is packed with plot and complex characters. To enhance
your viewing pleasure (and so you don't get entirely lost), it is strongly
recommended that you read this spoiler-free pdf of the HBO Viewer's Guide
before you come to the Marathon.

Lunch and Dinner:
Unfortunately, due to its length, the Marathon can only allow 45 minutes each for the Lunch and Dinner breaks. We're suggesting a shared Pot Luck among everyone attending. So it's best to bring your food pre-cooked,  ready to warm up in our microwaves, or ready to eat--we'll have at least two microwave ovens (plus a regular stove available, if needed).

A lavish website, The Inn at the Crossroads, is devoted to the foods of Westeros (the world of Game of Thrones, and also Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series). Especially note their Individual Dishes page.

Other medieval/renaissance-themed dishes would also be appropriate. However, it's not required that you bring these specific types of dishes; the above is strictly offered as a suggestion. You may bring your own lunch and dinner--or contribute to the Marathon's Pot Luck.

But please let Ken know if you'll be contributing to this Pot Luck so we can gauge response. Thanks!

November 02, 2011

News Notes from the October Meeting

Important decisions made before the party started

Partiers included Sherri Dean
and Ken Keller.
We had a good crowd at the October meeting, held late so we could avoid a scheduling conflict and have a Halloween party. Before the party, however, several things were decided at the meeting.

Election Changes:
As part of the process of changing the Bylaws to comply with requirements for our hoped-for 501(c)3 status, the club agreed with a request from the Board to schedule officer elections in April 2012.

This is an important change from our traditional January election date, but it schedules this important decision the month after dues have been paid, and at a time when the weather is liklier to be good.

Current officers have agreed to continue serving during the extra months between January and April, to bridge this time gap.

New Publicity Committee Formed:
Communications Officer Jan Gephardt also outlined the need for a planning committee comprised of members who know about marketing, to help review all parts of our club's communications and publicity, and recommend "best practices" going forward. The goal is to have all the communications look like they come from the same organization, and to put in place a coherent vision for events and publicity.

Three members volunteered to serve on this committee, along with Jan. They are Jim Murray, Tracy Majkol, and Beth Welch. There still are potentially two openings on this committee, so if you were unable to attend the meeting but would like to help us clarify our communications focus, please contact Jan.

Remember the Game of Thrones Marathon--THIS WEEKEND!
Laser Rangers representatives Ken Keller and Tracy Majkol presented an audio-visual program about the upcoming Game of Thrones event.  It is this weekend! We published a schedule here earlier in October, or you can find more information on the Laser Rangers website.  Keep watching this page: our next post with give all the latest details.

PHOTO CREDIT: The snapshot used for this post was taken by Jan Gephardt. If you want to use it, please give credit to Jan and KaCSFFS. Thanks!